*This lecture takes place on a Wednesday evening at 7:30pm
Architecture is the first of Hegel’s “individual arts”—which also include sculpture, painting, music, and poetry—discussed in Part III of his lectures on aesthetics. Hegel describes architecture’s origins in the Tower of Babel and considers the emergence of architecture proper in Egyptian pyramids. Architecture reached its highest point in the classical world, where its function—housing the spiritual—was made explicit by structures that balanced the organic and the mathematical. Romantic architecture, for instance the gothic splendor of the Cologne Cathedral, instead hides its functionality and become more sculptural. Throughout, Hegel considers what role the organic should play in architecture: whether nature should be imitated, incorporated, or excluded as architecture develops. Surprisingly, Hegel also discusses gardens and parks as an example of humans defining space in an architectural way. This paper attempts to make sense of these themes and to suggest how they might be relevant in contemporary architecture.